Canoists demand access to all rivers

The Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trustis calling upon MPs
to support the principle of Voluntary Access Agreements to address
the recent demand by canoeists

The Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust (FACT) is calling upon MPs to support the principle of Voluntary
Access Agreements to address the recent demand by canoeists for free access to English and Welsh waterways for
all water users.

FACT is working closely with Martin Salter MP (Parliamentary Spokesman for Angling) who has tabled an amendment
to the original Early Day Motion (EDM 957), which urges Government to extend legislation on access to the countryside
to allow canoeists and users of other non-powered craft the same access rights as those provided for walkers.

Whilst anglers are perfectly willing to seek voluntary joint access agreements with other water users, sustainable
protection of the aquatic environment must be paramount, together with the proper regulation of all craft, whether
or not they are powered, on inland waters.

FACT’s amendment, tabled by Martin Salter, reads, “urges the Government not to alter riparian rights; recommends
that any increase in access to canoeists and non-powered craft be by voluntary access agreements only, which have
been proven to work in both England and Wales; believes that the users of all canoes and non-powered craft on inland
waterways should be subject to the same restrictions as anglers, and penalties for infringements; further believes
that the Environment Agency should have the power to close any waterway to any craft in the interests of protecting
sensitive aquatic environments; and considers that, notwithstanding the forthcoming Olympic Games, it should be
remembered that angling is a sport which has 4 million participants in England and Wales with an annual economy of
£3.5 billion and which has had great success in recent World Championships.”

Jim Glasspool, Chairman of FACT commented:
“Angling is heavily regulated, and provides £17m net income to the Environment Agency’s Fisheries Department.
Anglers also provide many times that figure each year through fishing fees for habitat management and environmental
protection, which gives the sport genuine stakeholder status in the aquatic environment. Other water users should
be made to take a similar responsibility for their environment.”

Individuals and organisations with an interest in angling / fisheries are encouraged to write to their local MP
(contact details are available by entering a post code on web site www.locata.co.uk/commons) seeking their support
to the amended EDM. A draft letter is also available for download from the following web sites www.nafac.co.uk ,
www.salmon-trout.org , www.nfadirect.com , www.saauk.org

ENDS

Notes For Editors
1. An Early Day Motion, or EDM, is a motion put down (“tabled”) by Members of Parliament calling for a debate on
a particular subject. In practice, there is rarely time to debate EDMs nowadays and their true modern-day purpose
is to enable MPs to draw attention to an issue and to canvass support for their views by inviting other Members
to add their signatures in support of the motion. Members may also table amendments to existing EDMs. Details of
the Early Day Motion 957 can be found on the Parliament’s web site – http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/Search.aspx
and typing in “957” in the “Goto EDM number” box.

2. The Fisheries & Angling Conservation Trust (FACT) is a company limited by guarantee that was formed in January
2005 to protect and promote the interests of angling and recreational fisheries in the UK.

3. FACT encompasses the work undertaken hitherto by the National Angling Alliance (NAA), the Moran Committee, and
the Joint Angling Governing Bodies (JAGB). Its subscribing members are:-

• Anglers Conservation Association (ACA)
• Angling Trades Association (ATA)
• Professional Coarse Fisheries Association (PCFA)
• National Association of Fisheries & Angling Consultatives (NAFAC)

• National Federation of Anglers (NFA)
• National Federation of Sea Anglers (NFSA)
• Salmon & Trout Association (S&TA)
• Specialist Anglers Alliance (SAA)

• Association of Stillwater Game Fishery Managers (ASGFM)
• Atlantic Salmon Trust (AST)

4. Nationally there are 4.2 million anglers and between them they spend at least £3.5billion per annum, a
huge contribution to the national economy which helps to sustain rural communities and supports tens of
thousands of jobs.

5. For further information, contact …

John Slader
Executive Officer
Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust Ltd

01794-884736

email slader@john5.demon.co.uk

Individuals and organisations with an interest in angling / fisheries are encouraged to write to their local
MP (contact details are available by entering a post code on web site www.locata.co.uk/commons) seeking their
support to the amended EDM.

A suggested draft letter follows:

* delete as appropriate

Dear

EARLY DAY MOTION 957 RIVER ACCESS FOR NON-POWERED CRAFT

I am / We are* opposed to EDM 957 as originally drafted but in support of the two amendments put forward
on the 6th December 2005 by Mr Martin Salter MP.

I/we* object to the original wording on environmental grounds, because of the detrimental effect that
unrestricted access to the nation’s waterways will have on sensitive aquatic environments. I/we* do not
wish to deny canoes access to rivers but I/we* consider that such access should be by locally negotiated
agreements, which have been proven to work well in many parts of the Country.

Such agreements can take into account the sustainable protection of the environment as well as of anglers
and canoeists and generally allow access on either a temporal or spatial basis.

I/we understand this is the view currently held by the Government. Indeed at a meeting with angling
leaders on 20th October Jim Knight, Parliamentary Under Secretary at Defra confirmed that the government
does not support the British Canoe Union’s claim for unrestricted access to England’s waterways but will
continue to work to promote the adoption of locally negotiated access agreements. This approach is the one
taken by angling interests in its ongoing negotiations with the British Canoe Union.

Angling is very well regulated, and provides £17m net income to the Environment Agency’s Fisheries resource.
Anglers also provide many times that figure each year through fishing fees for habitat management and environmental
protection, which gives the sport genuine stakeholder status in the aquatic environment. Other water users should
be made to take a similar responsibility for their environment.

Principal angling organisations are committed to agreeing a negotiated solution to this problem and I/we* would
therefore respectfully ask you to support EDM 957 as amended on 6th December 2005 by Mr Martin Salter MP.

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to read this letter.

Yours sincerely,